Over the last few months but especially over the past few weeks, myself and the Town Board have received numerous phone calls from residents and business owners about a local website and their posts. Myself and the Town Board will take any and all actions up to and including legal action against those responsible for posting false information and lies with malice against business owners and residents as well as elected and appointed Town officials. These lies can affect property values, reputations and business owners’ livelihoods.
First I will address the Bullville area. Over the past few years, residents of Bullville have complained about the condition of several buildings and related health and safety issues and asked us to try to improve this area, and not just Pine Bush. We reached out to each owner and work with them to resolve the issues and, only as a last resort, will we resort to condemnation. We do not and never have foreclosed nor bought any property from foreclosure. This is a County function and not a Town function. We worked hard to obtain a grant for this area and the residents of Bullville deserve a facelift as they too are Town taxpayers. Because of Covid we are behind on this project.
Speaking of Covid and medical conditions; I am proud of what the Town accomplished during this time. Myself, Jessica Kempter, John Calaca, Chief Blasko and the police department and others continued to work and serve the Town of Crawford residents while Rob Sassi and Domanie Ragni and others worked on getting food and supplies out to our seniors. We hired an additional cleaning person, obtained supplies for cleaning and the safety of our residents while not taking away all of their freedoms. The parks and walking trail remained open and enjoyed by our residents. We did not have the opportunity to sit around, not working and criticize every move we make on social media. This group stooped so low as to accuse me of coughing at public meetings when lying while it is due to a medical procedure I had recently. Jessica Kempter worked through this period while her husband went through a serious medical procedure and she along with our planning secretary Nancy Duryea who just lost her husband were accused on changing minutes and information on our website. I can only hope that those responsible for these posts never have a serious medical condition and treated like this. Despite the documentation that this was not true this group has never offered an apology and dismissed it as a computer glitch.
We have seen criticism by this same group about the walking trail which is enjoyed and used by countless numbers of people during the year. I want to correct a few untruths posted on social media. The Town owns the old road there and that and the fact that the County offered us the opportunity for a trail is why we chose that site. We have a 10 year lease on about 10 acres there and have talked to the County about other recreational opportunities there that will benefit the residents and Town based farming. The County leases the adjoining property and not the Town. All parks close each year around early November and have closed that way for 30 years. The trail does not go through prime farmland and utilizes the old road and driveway and edges of the fields. The leaseholders pay for the right to use this land and we support the leaseholders and their off season uses and most crops grown on this property are donated to local farmers at no charge.
Speaking of rail trails I want to correct another untruth posted on the same social media site. It has been said the Town did not support a rail trail in Pine Bush. The Town in the late 70’s or early did not want to purchase the old railroad bed. The owner of this sold it to adjacent landholders. In the late 90’s a group tried to revive this idea but residents opposed it overwhelmingly at a public hearing since much of the property was already developed and they were concerned about safety. This Board was not in office with the exception of me who served on the planning board at the time and supported the concept of a rail trail in Town. This rail line was a dead end from the Middletown line and was established first for milk then used for my uncles lumberyard and G.L.F. (now Agway) There is no connection to the rail beds north of us in the Gardiner, New Paltz area and never was.
The Town of Crawford Supervisor or Town Board does not prepare the Fire Districts or Library Districts budgets. They are prepared by a Board and submitted to the Town of Crawford. It had been posted that the Supervisor prepared their budget and responsible for this. Years ago we worked with these agencies on grants and emergency response and have obtained funds for them whenever possible. This is a better way to accomplish our common goals rather than attack them with incorrect information.
Numerous other lies and untruths have been posted including zoning and public hearings as well as criticism of the Police staffing levels and hours worked by the Supervisor. The form posted was a standard workday form and not hours worked. My job is 24/7 and I work out of 2 offices not one and am proud of my accomplishments and relationships with State and County officials. By attending their numerous meetings and events and working with them and not against them in a bipartisan manner we have been able to obtain many grants and programs. The Town of Crawford is also extremely A proposed new firehouse was recently attacked and when residents voiced their opposition to the price the Town relayed their opinions at a meeting of the fire commissioners. We work with these agencies on grants and emergency response and have obtained funds for them whenever possible. The Town of Crawford is also extremely pleased to have been under the New York State Tax Cap since it was enacted nine years ago despite new regulations and increased costs and mandates.